October 15, 2015

OMB Approved The Proposed STEM OPT Extension Rule

The OMB(Office Of Management And Budget) has approved the proposed rule by DHS yesterday(14-OCT-2015) to bring back the STEM OPT Extension. This is definitely a good news for the International Students in US working under OPT and also for the ones working under cap gap awaiting H-1B decision, who were left in chaos as they would not be able to continue the employment after 12-FEB-2016.

But be informed that the proposal being approved by OMB does not conclude the RuleMaking Process.

As all you aware the OPT STEM Extension was invalidated by Federal Court in action against the Lawsuit filed by Washington Alliance Of Technology Workers. As per the court decision, the OPT STEM rule will be ineffective from 12-FEB-2016. This is a big problem for the US to retain the existing and future qualified workers without STEM OPT extension as the H-1B cap is limited and would not serve the required workforce. 

There were two options for DHS to address this issue, either to contest the court ruling or to propose a new rule with improvements to the old rule. Hence DHS compiled a new rule with enhancements to the previous OPT STEM rule and presented to The Department of Management and Budget(OMB) with the title "Improving and Expanding Training Opportunities for F-1 Nonimmigrant Students with STEM degrees and expanding Cap-Gap Relief for All F-1 Students With Pending H-1B Petitions"

The RuleMaking Process involves multiple steps:

1. The new rule will be presented to OMB by respective Agency(DHS in this case) of US.
2. The OMB reviews the proposal and gives a decision.
3. If the proposed rule is approved by OMB, it will be published as a PROPOSED RULE in the Federal Register with a 30 day comment period.
4. The Authorized Agency(DHS) may make changes to the proposal after reviewing public comments and publish a final rule to Federal Register.
5. All this process will be monitored and need to be approved by the Federal Judge.

Stay tuned for future updates on the STEM OPT Extension Rulemaking.

Please share this article to keep your friends and family updated on the OPT extension rule.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More